Monthly Archives: July 2017

Trauma and Addiction are Connected

It is not surprising that people who have been traumatized are more likely to abuse substances. For example, those who have been sexually abused are more likely to use drugs than the general public. It is said that they are 3.4 times more likely to use marijuana, 6 times more likely to use cocaine, 10 times more likely to use other major drugs. This podcast explores the connection between trauma and addiction. Listen in to hear this opiate recovery group discuss their experiences and opinions.

Discussion Guide:

Have you experienced trauma?

Do you believe the trauma predisposed you to an addiction?

What would you say the root cause of your addiction is?

Some say that you are as sick as your secrets. Have you had counseling to address the trauma?

If you went to rehab, were you in a dual diagnosis program? Was it helpful?

What would you look for in a counselor?

Supplemental Reading:

Jennifer Storm, How Trauma, Victimization and Addiction Are All Connected, http://www.thefix.com/how-trauma-victimization-and-addiction-are-all-connected

Kaiser Permanente, Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire http://www.ncjfcj.org/sites/default/files/Finding%20Your%20ACE%20Score.pdf

Opiatesupportgroup.com Podcast, Childhood Trauma Is Found to Underlie Most Addictions, May 21, 2017

Group Member Profiles: What’s Their Story?

Our group received an email this week from Dan. He wrote "I have listened to every one of your podcasts and I really enjoy them. The one thing I have noticed is that we never learn about the stories of how the people in the discussion got addicted in the first place. It would be nice if any of the members would be willing to talk about their histories. Keep up the good work and thank you for what you all do." Dan asked for it, and we delivered. Listen in to hear three group members share their stories.

Discussion Guide:

What is your addiction story?

Describe your life before addiction.

Describe your life during active addiction.

Describe your recovery process.

What is your biggest regret?

What advise would you give others?

What do you hope for in the future?

 

 

It Is Unethical and Inhumane To Withhold Narcan (Naloxone)

A stigma against people who abuse substances exists. Most often it is subtle, but now and then it is loud and ugly. Sheriff Richard Jones in Butler County, Ohio said that he will not equip his deputies with Narcan. "My officers don't carry Narcan, nor will they". He will change his position only if he is court ordered to begin carrying Narcan. Also in Ohio, Dan Picard, Councilman from Middletown, proposed a two strikes and you're out policy. He suggested that the council explore the possibility of denying emergency medical services to people who have sought overdose intervention twice before. Listen in to this group of addicts share their opinions on the matter.

Discussion Guide:

Have you overdosed? If so, were you revived with Narcan? How would you describe the benefits of Narcan to someone who is not familiar with it?

Have you experienced a stigma as a result of having a drug dependency? Please describe it.

If you, a close friend or a family member were denied Narcan and died as a consequence, what steps would you take to seek justice? And what steps would you take to ensure it doesn't happen again?

What are the underlying values of people who would withhold Narcan?

As the costs associated with overdoses increases, how do you think communities or the overdose patients should pay for it?

Some people think that withholding emergency medical response to overdose patients is manslaughter and premeditated murder. Do you agree or disagree?

Supplemental Reading:

Nick Wing, Sheriff In Heart of Ohio's Opioid Epdemic Refuses to Carry Overdose Reversal Drug, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/richard-jones-butler-county_us_595fb129e4b02e9bdb0c3b78

Corky Siemaszko, Ohio Councilman Sparks Fury After Asking If EMS Can Stop Responding to Overdoses, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/ohio-councilman-sparks-fury-after-asking-if-ems-can-stop-n778711

Do You Need a Dose Increase?

It is sometimes difficult to sort out symptoms – is it the influenza (flu), or is it opiate withdrawal? The Clinic Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) is used as an assessment tool to distinguish true withdrawal symptoms. The outcome result will indicate whether you may need to increase your dose. Listen to this support group as they discuss their experiences.

Discussion Guide:

Are you familiar with The Clinic Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS)?

How can you tell the difference of opiate withdrawal and being medically ill with a flu?

Describe an example of being medically sick with a flu and the experience of withdrawal while in active addiction.

Has your dose of Methadone or Suboxone fluctuated up and down over time?

Have you been able to easily articulate the reasons why you might need to increase your dose?

Supplemental Reading:

Wesson and Ling, Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale, http://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/files/ClinicalOpiateWithdrawalScale.pdf

Am I An Addict? Coming to Terms with the Label

Rarely does one immediately identify themselves as having an addiction. The causes and progression of addiction are complex and unfold over time. Resistance to the label of addiction is common. Listen to this support group as they discuss their thinking as they came to accept the label of 'addict'.

Discussion Guide:

When was the point in your life that you accepted that you were addicted to a substance?

What was your thinking process as you came to accept that you were an addict?

What were the consequences of your drug use? Did the negative consequences present a red flag that you were addicted?

Did you compromise your values over time? Did this change of values present a red flag that you were addicted?

Did you lose control of your behavior? Was this a red flag that you were addicted?

What did your loved ones telling you? Was that a red flag?

What was your substance abuse trying to tell you? It could have been trying to tell you something about your life, something that needs to change, or a trauma that hasn't healed.

Have you participated in psychotherapy to address the underlying issues of addiction?

Supplemental Reading:

Sam Dylan Finch, 5 Better Questions to Ask Than 'Am I an Alcoholic?', http://www.thefix.com/5-better-questions-ask-am-i-alcoholic